In the digital economy, data have become a valuable commodity, much in the way that oil is in the rest of the economy (Wedel and Kannan 2016). Data enable market researchers to obtain valuable and novel insights. There are many new sources of data, such as web traffic, social networks, sensors that track suppliers, customers and shipments, online surveys, and others. A Forbes (2015a) survey of senior executives reveals that 96 % of the respondents consider data-driven marketing crucial to success. Not surprisingly, data are valuable to companies who spend over $44 billion a year on obtaining insights (Statista.com 2017). So valuable are these insights that companies go to great lengths to conceal the findings. Apple, for example, is known to carefully hide that it conducts a great deal of research, as the insights from this enable the company to gain a competitive advantage (Heisler 2012).
This book is about being able to supply such insights. It is a valuable skill for which there are abundant jobs. Forbes (2015b) shows that IBM, Cisco, and Oracle alone have more than 25,000 unfilled data analysis positions. Davenport and Patil (2012) label data scientists The Sexiest Job of the 21st Century.
This book introduces market research, using commonly used quantitative techniques such as regression analysis, factor analysis, and cluster analysis. These statistical methods have generated findings that have significantly shaped the way we see the world today. If you search for market(ing) research books on Google or Amazon, you will find that there is no shortage of such books. However, this book differs in many important ways:
- This book is a bridge between the theory of conducting quantitative research and its execution, using the market research process as a framework. We discuss market research, starting off by identifying the research question, designing the data collection process, collecting, and describing data. We also introduce essential data analysis techniques and the basics of communicating the results, including a discussion on ethics. Each chapter on quantitative methods describes key theoretical choices and how these are executed in SPSS. Unlike most other books, we do not discuss theory or application, but link the two.
- This is a book for non-technical readers! All chapters are written in an accessible and comprehensive way so that readers without a profound background in statistics can also understand the introduced data analysis methods. Each chapter on research methods includes examples to help the reader gain a hands-on feeling for the technique. Each chapter concludes with an illustrated case that demonstrates the application of a quantitative method.
- To facilitate learning, we use a single case study throughout the book. This case deals with a customer survey of a fictitious company called Oddjob Airways (familiar to those who have seen the James Bond movie Goldfinger). We also provide additional end-of-chapter cases, including different datasets, thus allowing the readers to practice what they have learnt. Other pedagogical features, such as keywords, examples, and end-of-chapter questions, support the contents.
- This book is concise, focusing on the most important aspects that a market researcher, or manager interpreting market research, should know.
- Many chapters provide links to videos, further readings, and other websites. We also include a comprehensive Web Appendix with information on additional analysis techniques and datasets.
- The book makes use of the Springer Nature More Media App (http://www.springer.com/gp/marketing/springer-multimedia-app), which allows you to scan an image tagged with the Play Button and stream videos directly to your mobile device. The App allows saving the documents on your device and keeps track of your 50 most recently accessed media. This unique merger of offline and online content offers readers a broad spectrum of additional and readily accessible information. You can download the Springer Nature More Media App from the Apple App Store or from Google Play.
- Lastly, we have set up a Facebook page called Market Research: The Process, Data, and Methods. This page provides a platform for discussions and the exchange of market research ideas.
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